The chatter of a full 5 Boroughs Ascot on a Saturday night is an insight into what’s to come for Racecourse Road’s latest burger and bar joint.
At 5pm on the venue’s official opening day (March 5) every table was full. The only space available was at the bar, where customers were encouraged to relax with a beer before taking a seat in the restaurant proper.
It may be new for Racecourse Road, but 5 Boroughs Ascot follows in the footsteps of the Stones Corner original. Like its sister venue, the internal detailing is all crisp black and yellow, reminiscent of New York cabs.
Inside, the venue seats 60 people, with the lengthy bar adding space for 35. Around back is an inviting garden bar – a cosy, canopied green space populated by hanging ferns and handsome wicker furniture.
The menu is the same 5 Boroughs philosophy of New York food with a refined twist. Think a trip to Coney Island, snacking on onion rings or beef empanadas, or a cheesy, smokey burger accompanied by an ice-cold beer, but all within the space of a comfortable restaurant.
Owners Todd and Marisa Clayton honed their expertise as part of the management team that introduced Sizzler restaurants to Australia in the 1980s, and there’s that same, exacting attention to detail here, albeit in a more refined setting.
5 Boroughs is not just another burger bar: there’s a focus on making things from scratch – a butcher cutting meats to order – and chef Grant Faraway’s menu isn’t lazy about capturing 21st century New York. That means you’ll find touches of Japanese and Hispanic cuisine, and plentiful vegetarian and gluten-free options.
One wall of the restaurant has the definition of “borough” painted bold for all to see: “An urban community”. Marisa Clayton explains that this is at the heart of the 5 Boroughs philosophy. “It’s a place where people can meet,” she says. “We have a sense of being a full restaurant while remaining casual enough to create that sense of community.”
5 Boroughs Ascot
120 Racecourse Road, Ascot
(07) 3268 7400
Sun to Thu 11am–9pm
Fri to Sat 11am–10pm